Dubai: The UAE marked the second phase of the journey of happiness on Thursday (March 15) with the celebration of the Year of Zayed and a happiness carnival. A parade, which was a part of the carnival, took place at City Walk, yesterday (Thursday, March 15).

The parade had 2,000 performers. There were different kinds of marching percussion bands, people in colourful costumes, and other traditional dances. There were people on horses as well as large balloons and props that were being carried by participants.

The five-day event is to headline celebrations in the run-up to the International Day of Happiness on March 20.

Some of the participants were wearing costumes made out of feathers and others made from balloons, making the parade a flurry of colours.

There were volunteers who handed out candy, balloons and other knick-knacks to children who had come with their parents to watch the activities.

During the parade, many performers held signs with the words “happiness” and “optimism” as the carnival celebrates and promotes such values.

Dubai resident Bhuvana Ramesh took part in the parade with her daughter and represented how happiness occurs through better body wellbeing. She said: “The country as such represents happiness and wellness for everyone. We enjoyed the walk.”

Dana Soto, who came to watch the parade with her family said: “They managed to pull off a good evening. I just wish more people knew about it.”

The parade ended with an explosion of confetti and the performers mingling with the children around.

The next big day is at the Dubai Water Canal on March 20. For details, check out www.happy.ae

The main National Happiness and Positivity programme will be held at Dubai Design District from March 16 to 20, and will discuss happiness goals from across the UAE.